On today’s Backhand Shelf Podcast, Pizzo and I talk with ESPN’s Neil Greenberg, the gent who penned the “Top 25 NHL Players Under 25″ list (which left off John Tavares in favour of Vlasic, Stewart, Berglund, Perron, Neuvirth, Little and Kostitsyn), so yeah….We had a good chat about it, actually. We also talked with him (and each other) about Alex Ovechkin’s choice to skip the All-Star game, Tim Thomas’ choice to skip the White House, and other things that don’t involve skipping.

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Comments (5)

  1. Neil is still a joke.

  2. Oh, Neil Greenberg. Wow, even when the poor Islanders get any publicity, it’s from hacks like Greenberg. Glad the boys confronted him with the (very deserved) criticism and disagreement. He keeps regurgitating the same ol’ BS…who makes a list and doesn’t factor upside? Or says “under 25″ but then values all the 24 yr olds? He still doesn’t address the fact that Tavares in O Zone faceoffs often goes up against his opponents’ top defensive pairs and checking lines, which negates what he calls cushy ice time. Give me a break!

    Nice that Justin and Rob stuck to their guns and told him they disagreed to his face–er, voice. Question is: if you disagreed with his analysis, and you think his metrics are a bit flawed, why would you invite the guy back for analysis? Wash your hands of him and move on!

    Another great show….liked the bit on TT. Regardless of his political BS, his Facebook justification/explanation/self-love was way too much. He likely punched his ticket out of Boston at the end of the season.

  3. I’m sorry, I have to agree with Howie’s criticism of Neil Greenberg. I have a hard time believing this guy really understands the game. He would rather have Bryan Little, right now over John Tavares???? What is he drinking? Because I would ,love to have some

  4. The problem I have with his numbers is that it is relying too heavily on past years. For someone who is currently 24 that is not an issue as the 22 and 23 years are probably not too different for the most part. But when you take a 21 year old like Tavares you are throwing in a 19 & 20 year old stats which are sure to be filled with sheltered opportunities. But 21 year old Tavares is not the same as 19 year old Tavares. His skating and strength are exponentially better. His defense is much better (he has one of the highest +/- on the team this season). He also relies on too many factors that are team related. Playoff experiece shouldn’t matter at all in an individual list. The possession and zone numbers only take in to consideration linemates and not the defenders (when you have Eaton, Staois, & Mottau trying to make your breakout passes you will find a lot of them coming back in to your zone).

    I don’t think Neil purposely left off the future superstar but his list is misleading. It claims to be a list of the top 25 under 25 today but it really is the top 25 under 25 based on the last 3 years including playoffs (which many players will not have any experience in) without taking in to consideration weakness of the teams defenders. I can understand why he didn’t use such an unwieldy title.

  5. I have a feeling Thomas knew standing up for what he believed in would create a stir. It would have been nice if he could have taken that stand without impacting the team, but that was not an option. If he truly believes the government is threatening citizens liberty and freedom then he did the right thing. His status in society, how much money he personally makes really has little to do with it. I have a feeling if this were President Bush and not President Obama he would be getting more praise and less heat.

    If I am suspended by my employer for a week, but, in the middle of that week they ask me to attend a function that earns them piles of money while I am not being paid….I would skip it as well. Especially when there was a blatant elbow directly to the head from behind in the same game and the player that committed that foul was not even fined. He was not voted in by the fans, so I assume most fans don’t want to see him at the game. As a Caps fan I have problems with many things Ovechkin does, this is not one of them.

    Not a huge stat guy, so I can’t comment too much on that as I don’t really care much about it. I will say personally attacking someone that present an argument that may differ from your position is pretty weak. Not saying you guys did that, but many others did.

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